Age-dependent differences in demographics, risk factors, co-morbidity, etiology, management, and clinical outcome of acute ischemic stroke

Arnold, M. ; Halpern, M. ; Meier, N. ; Fischer, U. ; Haefeli, T. ; Kappeler, L. ; Brekenfeld, C. ; Mattle, H. ; Nedeltchev, K.

In: Journal of Neurology, 2008, vol. 255, no. 10, p. 1503-1507

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    Summary
    Background : Comparisons between younger and older stroke patients including comorbidities are limited. Methods : Prospective data of consecutive patients with first ever acute ischemic stroke were compared between younger (≤ 45 years) and older patients (> 45 years). Results : Among 1004 patients, 137 (14 %) were ≤ 45 years. Younger patients were more commonly female (57 % versus 34 %; p < 0.0001), had a lower frequency of diabetes (1 % versus 15 %; p < 0.0001), hypercholesterolemia (26 % versus 56 %; p < 0.0001), hypertension (19 % versus 65 %; p < 0.0001), coronary heart disease (14 % versus 40 %; p < 0.0001), and a lower mean Charlson co-morbidity index (CCI), (0.18 versus 0.84; p < 0.0001). Tobacco use was more prevalent in the young (39 % versus 26 %; P < 0.0001). Large artery disease (2 % versus 21 %; p < 0.0001), small artery disease (3 % versus 12 %; p = 0.0019) and atrial fibrillation (1 % versus 17 %; p = 0.001) were less common in young patients, while other etiologies (31 % versus 9 %; p < 0.0001), patent foramen ovale or atrial septal defect (44 % versus 26 %; p < 0.0001), and cervical artery dissection (26 % versus 7 %; p < 0.0001) were more frequent. A favorable outcome (mRS 0 or 1) was more common (57.4 % versus 46.9 %; p = 0.023), and mortality (5.1 % versus 12 %; p = 0.009) was lower in the young. After regression analysis, there was no independent association between age and outcome (p = 0.206) or mortality (p = 0.073). Baseline NIHSS score (p < 0.0001), diabetes (p = 0.041), and CCI (p = 0.002) independently predicted an unfavorable outcome. Conclusions : Younger patients were more likely to be female, had different risk factors and etiologies and fewer co-morbidities. There was no independent association between age and clinical outcome or mortality